Friday, March 28, 2014

Pass The Peas Please - Border Hens Shut Out!

My Borders Love Thawed Frozen Peas added to my nestling food!

 I have expanded the Paul Dee's recipe to 6 cups ABBA Green 92 dry nestling food, 6 hard boiled eggs with shell processed in the food processor and then add 1 package (16 oz) thawed frozen peas.  The frozen peas are covered with hot tap water and drained and then added to mix.

So far, my Borders are feeding it very well! In the past I have complained about needing to supplement the Border hens to save their chicks but now they are enthusiastically leaving me out of the loop!

The first Border hen laid three eggs while I was gone to the Missouri Valley Basketball Tournament in St. Louis to see the Wichita State Shockers big win.  She hatched two chicks and feed very well. When the chicks were five days old,  I saw a lot of fecal material on the nesting material,  I removed the nest and cut the nesting material even with the nest and banded the chicks. I also notices that the hen had sat in the mess and had her vent covered with the chicks fecal material. I wash her vent with warm water, cut any extra feathers around the area and applied the Biodecken salve to her vent area.

This morning I took these pictures. Oops, In my enthusiasm, I have offered fresh nestling food too often and overdosed her with peas!

So yesterday, I added a dish of dry regular oatmeal and sprouted seeds. I am going to feed the oatmeal and sprouted seeds from the beginning and hopefully feeding the pea containing nestling food only three times a day and offering oatmeal and sprouted seeds will help the problem of having so much fecal material. I also offer them a choice of my standard quinoa, cous cous, Biodecken Novafood with peas. Typically when something the birds like is so readily available they pig-out on it and do not eat or feed everything. Once banded, a separate dish of cous cous with a little olive oil and poppy seeds was also added.

Next Day Update: The droppings are going over the side of the nest and the nest only needed minor clean up today.

Note the fluffy baby down, sticky out all over is a sign of a well-fed baby!

The sprouted seed I used is ABBA Soak Seed. The directions call for soaking the seed six hours in water and then draining and letting it set another 18 hours and then rinsing.

Their seeds sprout quickly and are ready to feed in 24hours as soaked seed or in only 48 hours from the initial covering with water as sprouted seed. (Picture is exactly 48 hours.)

Update: Second nest to hatch, 4 Border chicks. These hatched over a three day period and they are all being well fed. Note the baby fuzz standing straight out, no need to wonder about whether they are being fed enough, they obviously are! The hen has failed to fed the last two years. I think the peas and soaked/sprouted seed are the reason for success with her this year!

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